Masterkey 4.0 puts a projected keyboard and screen in your pocket
Smartphones are pretty much everywhere, and can be pretty powerful computing machines. But tapping away on a touchscreen can be fiddly and takes up precious display space. Masterkey 4.0 wirelessly connects to a phone and projects a keyboard onto a desk and a big screen display onto a nearby wall.
The Masterkey has been in development since 2014, and dabbled in crowdfunding at least once (as a smartphone adapter) on the way to its current stint on Kickstarter. Designed for use in boardroom presentations, for canteen gaming or as a bedroom TV or computer, it has a similar look to Microsoft's Arc Mouse and appears to be about the same size as an iPhone, making it pocket-friendly.
Its makers reckon that the DLP pico projector will be able to throw an image of up to 120 diagonal inches onto a wall, though sharpness at that size may be an issue at native 854 x 480 resolution. Contrast is given as 2,000:1, but 100 ANSI lumens isn't too bright, so ambient lighting will likely need to be fairly low during use. The manual focus image thrower is said to feature auto keystone correction, though the photo below appears to tell a different story.
The laser diode QWERTY keyboard offers a 9.8 x 4.3 in (245 x 110 mm) keying area, and the device's IR camera is reported capable of registering over 350 characters per minute – although we found typing on such things to be something of a chore.
The Masterkey 4.0 wirelessly connects to a smartphone running an iOS/Android app over Bluetooth 4.0, but can also be cabled up to a source device over USB or HDMI. There's a built-in 5,200 mAh/3.85 V battery for portability, a microSD slot and an integrated speaker, too.
The design team has also developed software that can monitor audience interest based on facial expressions and gestures, so folks running office or classroom presentations can see who was paying attention or who was showing interest.
The Masterkey 4.0 project is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledge levels for a Home Edition start at €155 (US$179), with a Business Edition (which includes a "Kinesthetic Sensor") coming in at €212 ($245). If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in January 2019. The video below has more.